NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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2007/12/14


重箱 Jyubako Jubako Lunch Boxes

Jp En

Jubako lunch boxes come in various shapes such as cylindrical or hexagonal, but the most common is square.

Jubako are basically lunch boxes for food. They may have up to 5 layers. Officially, these layers represent the 4 seasons, so there are usually only 4 layers. Jubako may hold special food such as 'osechi' at New Year, or for hanami cherry-blossom-viewing picnics, or during athletic festivals.

It is believed that jubako developed from 'food baskets' ('shilong') introduced from China. However, there are references to lunch boxes in Muromachi-period documents, therefore, it could be said that jubako have a long history.

During the Edo period, jubako came to be used by common people, too, and their real manufacture began in 1610. Samurai and daimyo used them as lunch boxes during leisure outings, such as hunting expeditions. Later, they started to be lacquered and decorated. Even now, this traditional item is commonly used in Japan.
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2007/5/31


霞城公園 Kajyou-kouen Kaijo Park

Jp En

Kaijo Park is located on the site of Yamagata Castle, in Yamagata. Recently, strong efforts have been made to complete renovation of the castle. On the 100th anniversary of the founding of Yamagata City, the Ote gateway to the castle was renovated and is being exhibited twice a year.

In 1356, Shiba Kaneyori built defensive stockades, which became the foundations of Yamagata Castle. From 1592, Mogami Yoshiaki, his descendant, remodeled it over 13 years and completed the present castle's form. After he started ruling his territory of 570,000 goku (a unit of land that can produce enough rice for one person per year), 12 custodians took over from him.

The remaining stone walls and moats give an indication of the original castle. Within the castle grounds is a structure called Saisei-kan that shows a Western style different to the other buildings.

Now, the park is famous as a place to view cherry blossoms and enjoy hanami parties in spring.
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2007/1/19


桜 Sakura Cherry Blossoms (Sakura)

Jp En

Since ancient times, the Japanese cherry (sakura) tree has been deeply connected to the spirit and lifestyle of the Japanese people as the spiritual tree of Konohanasakuyahimenomikoto.

The cherry blossom is the representative flower of Japan and, generally said, the word 'flower' for the Japanese means cherry blossom. Sakura is also the official flower of the state of Japan.

For many reasons, too, the sakura tree is important for practical purposes. For example, an early-Jomon period bow excavated from the Torihama Shell Mound Site in Fukui Prefecture contains parts reinforced with sakura bark. In addition, people knew when to sow the fields and time the crops by following the sakura's blossoming.

Yet the sakura is more of an ornamental tree, and 'hanami' ('cherry-blossom viewing') is an annual spring event nationwide. Additionally, the beautiful and transient characteristic of the tree to blossom before foliating in a short space of time, before falling gracefully, has been the subject of countless poems. Furthermore, sakura is often the subject of conversations with a distinctively Japanese aesthetic.
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NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉 - 日本語に切り替える NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉 - to english

"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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